FT Masters in Management Ranking 2023: methodology and key
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
This is the 19th edition of the FT Masters in Management Ranking.
A record 142 MiM programmes took part in the ranking process in 2023, up from 135 in 2022. Schools must meet strict criteria in order to be eligible. Their programmes must be full-time, cohort-based and schools must be accredited by either AACSB or Equis. Courses must be directed at students with little or no work experience. The ranking covers general management programmes, not specialised ones.
The table is calculated according to information collected through two separate surveys. The first is completed by the business schools and the second by alumni who finished their MiM in 2020.
The FT typically requires a response rate of 20 per cent of alumni, with a minimum of 20 responses, for a school to enter the ranking calculations. Due to the pandemic, the FT considered schools with a lower response rate. Some 7,129 alumni completed this year’s survey — a response rate of about 23 per cent.
The ranking has 19 criteria. Alumni responses inform eight criteria that together contribute 56 per cent of the ranking’s total weight. The remaining 11 criteria are calculated from school data and account for 44 per cent of the weight.
The current average (weighted) salary of alumni has the highest weighting, at 16 per cent. Local salaries are converted to US dollars using purchasing power parity rates (PPP) supplied by the IMF. The salaries of full-time students are removed. Salaries are normalised by removing the very highest and lowest salaries reported.
Salary increase has the second highest weighting, at 10 per cent. It is based on the average difference in alumni salary between their first MiM-level job after completing the course and their current salary, three years after finishing. Half of the weight is applied to the absolute salary increase and the other half to the relative percentage increase.
Where available, information collected over the past three years is used for alumni criteria. Responses from 2023 carry 50 per cent of the total weight and those from 2022 and 2021 each account for 25 per cent. Excluding salary-related criteria, if only two years of data is available, the weighting is split 60:40 if data is from 2023 and 2022, or 70:30 if from 2023 and 2021. For salary figures, the weight is 50:50 for two years’ data or 50:25:25 for three years’ data, to negate inflation-related distortions.
Data provided by schools is used to measure the diversity of teaching staff, board members and students according to gender and citizenship and the international reach of the programme. For gender criteria, schools with a 50:50 (male: female) composition receive the highest score.
When calculating international diversity, in addition to the percentage of international students and faculty at a school — the figures published — the FT also considers the proportion of international students and faculty by citizenship.
A score is then calculated for each school. First, Z-scores — formulas that reflect the range of scores between the top and bottom school — are calculated for each ranking criterion. These scores are then weighted and added together to give a final score. Schools are ranked according to these scores, creating the ranking.
After discounting the schools that did not meet the response rate threshold from the alumni survey, a first version is calculated using all remaining schools. The school at the bottom is removed and a second version is calculated, and so on until the final ranking is reached.
Other information in the table — programme length, the number of students enrolled, overall satisfaction and the percentage of students who undertake internships — does not contribute towards the ranking. (See the key, below.)
Judith Pizer of Pizer-MacMillan and Avner Cohen acted as the FT’s database consultants.
Key: weights for ranking criteria are shown in brackets as percentages.
Weighted salary US$ (16): average graduate salary three years after course completion, adjusted for salary variations between sectors, US$ PPP equivalent. †#
Salary percentage increase (10): average difference in alumni salary between course completion and today. Half of this figure is calculated according to the absolute increase and half according to the relative percentage increase. †#
Value for money rank (6): calculated according to alumni salaries today, tuition and other costs. †#
Career progress rank (6): calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of the organisation alumni are working for between course completion and today. †#
Aims achieved % (5): the extent to which alumni fulfilled their goals for doing a masters. †#
Careers service rank (4): effectiveness of the service in supporting student recruitment, rated by alumni. †#
Alumni network rank (3): effectiveness of the alumni network for career opportunities, launching start-ups, recruiting staff and providing event information (such as career-related talks), as rated by alumni. #
Employed at three months % (5): percentage of the most recent completing class that found employment within three months of completing their course. The figure in brackets is the percentage of the class for which the school was able to provide data. §
Female faculty % (5): percentage of female faculty on April 1. ‡
Female students % (5): percentage of women on the programme on March 31. ‡
Women on board % (1): percentage of women on the school advisory board. ‡
International faculty % (5): calculated according to the diversity of faculty (on April 1) by citizenship and the percentage whose citizenship differs from their location of employment — the figure published in the table.
International students % (5): calculated according to the diversity of current MiM students by citizenship and the percentage whose citizenship differs from the location in which they study — the figure in the table.
International board % (1): percentage of the school board whose citizenship differs from the school’s location.
International work mobility rank (6): calculated according to changes in the location of employment of alumni between course completion and today. Alumni citizenship is taken into account. †#
International course experience rank (6): calculated according to whether the most recent completing masters class carried out exchanges and internships, lasting at least a month, in locations other than where the school is based. In-person, virtual and hybrid experiences are included. Programmes with overseas study trips and internships abroad lasting less than a month are not counted in this category. §
Faculty with doctorates % (4): percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees as of April 1.
ESG and net zero teaching rank (3): proportion of teaching hours from core courses dedicated to ethics, social, environmental issues and climate solutions for how organisations can reach net zero. Some programmes offer electives but not core courses, so are ranked at the end.
Carbon footprint rank (4): calculated using the net zero target year for carbon emissions set by the university and/or school, and a publicly available carbon emissions audit report since 2019.
The categories below are for information only and are not used in the ranking calculations.
Average course length (months): average course completion length of the masters programme.
Number enrolled 2022-23: number of students who enrolled in the first year of the masters in the past year.
Overall satisfaction: average evaluation by alumni of the masters course, scored out of 10. Having answered various questions about their masters experience, including the quality of the school’s careers service, alumni were asked to rate their overall satisfaction, on a 10-point scale.
Internships (%): the percentage of the last completing class who had internships as part of the course. Some schools did not provide data on internships, so “0” does not necessarily mean they are not offered. §
Top 25 schools
Here are some quick facts about the top schools in the ranking. By Sam Stephens
HEC Paris is number one for the first time since 2008, helped by an impressive alumni salary of $129,806.
Switzerland’s University of St Gallen, which drops to second from first place last year, is the school with the top careers service.
The alumni network of London Business School has been ranked the highest, by graduates who were surveyed.
France’s ESCP is one of two schools with the highest proportion of international students at 99 per cent.
Alumni of China’s Tsinghua saw a salary increase of 94 per cent between course completion and today, three years on.
Germany’s WHU — Otto Beisheim is one of 51 schools where 100 per cent of graduates did an internship while studying.
Spain’s Iese is second for the highest proportion of teaching hours from core courses on ESG and reaching net zero.
Prague is one of 10 schools where all recent alumni have found jobs within three months of completing the course.
The Master of Global Management run by China’s Tongji school is top for value for money.
Belgium’s Vlerick is the highest riser in the top 25, moving up 17 places from 40th position.
† Includes data for the current year and one or two preceding years where available.
‡ For all gender-related criteria, schools with a 50:50 (male/female) composition receive the highest score.
# Data from alumni who completed their programmes in 2020 included.
§ Completed MiM between March 1, 2022, and February 28, 2023.
Criteria for taking part in the ranking
Updated on Sep 19, 2023
The FT MiM ranking is based on two surveys: one of the business school and one of the alumni who completed their MiM three years ago.
Each school can only submit one standalone programme. However, more than one programme can be submitted if the additional programme is a joint degree. Joint programmes can be separately entered, on the condition they are structured so that participating students take classes from all partner institutions in the programme.
The following are the criteria schools must meet in order to participate in the annual MiM ranking:
The business school or university must be accredited by AACSB or Equis, or have an affiliation with an AACSB or Equis accredited organisation.
The full-time MiM programme must have been running continuously for the past four years and the first class should have graduated in the calendar year at least three years prior to the survey date.
Your programme must be a generalist programme in general management. We will not consider specialised programmes (such as Masters in Marketing or a Masters in Finance with a management element).
This ranking is directed at Masters in Management degrees for students with very little or no prior work experience.
At least 30 full-time students must have completed the programme, per year, for the past three years.
Students must matriculate and graduate in cohort(s).
The business school must have a minimum of 20 full-time permanent faculty.
The MiM programme can be delivered in several languages but it must be fully available in English. Graduates need to complete the survey in English.
We require a response rate of at least 20 per cent from alumni with a minimum of 20 completed surveys from any school wishing to be considered for the ranking. For example, a class size of 100 graduates will require 20 completed surveys and a class size of 200 alumni will require 40 completed surveys. This response rate is based on the total size of the cohort we are surveying, not the number of graduate emails you can supply, as we are aware that some alumni will opt out of the survey.
Meeting these criteria does not guarantee automatic participation in the ranking. The final decision rests with the Financial Times.
Please note, the table is finalised about eight weeks before the publication date. It is too late for schools to withdraw from the ranking after the eight-week mark.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org by the start of February if you have questions or wish to take part as the ranking process starts in early March. By this time, the onus is on schools to get in contact with us if they wish to take part in the ranking, as we are unable to email every school to check if they wish to be considered.
Invitation to participate: March
Schools to confirm participation: March
Schools to upload alumni list: April
Survey open: April
Survey close: May
Data checks with schools: May – August